Navigating Business Outcomes – Insights for Intelligent Growth and Scalability
Smarter GTM 08.10.2023

Navigating Business Outcomes – Insights for Intelligent Growth and Scalability

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In this episode of Sunny Side Up, host Jon Miller interviews Heidi Bullock, Chief Marketing Officer at Tealium, to gain insights into navigating tough economic times in the realm of B2B marketing. The conversation delves into four crucial areas of focus: efficiency, driving meetings in customer accounts, delivering bad news, and managing team growth during downturns. Heidi stresses the importance of understanding customer pain points by regularly engaging with them to identify their needs and concerns. Transparent communication is highlighted as a cornerstone for building trust and credibility, especially when delivering unfavorable news. Keeping messaging simple, focused, and repetitive emerges as a powerful approach to ensure information retention and audience engagement. Additionally, Heidi offers valuable advice on optimizing team productivity, certifying members for specific tools, and utilizing project management platforms like Asana to enhance collaboration in global teams. As a leader, she emphasizes the significance of promoting growth opportunities for team members during challenging economic times. 

About the Guest

Heidi Bullock is an experienced marketing executive who has built a 20+ year career working at both global enterprise technology companies and start-ups. She is currently the CMO of Tealium, one of the largest independent and most trusted customer data platforms (CDP). Before Tealium, she held leadership roles at Engagio and Marketo.

Connect with Heidi Bullock

Key Takeaways

  • Focus on four key areas: efficiency, customer meetings, delivering bad news, and team growth during downturns.
  • Set clear goals for both net new logo acquisition and customer expansion.
  • Regularly interact with customers to stay attuned to their needs and pain points.
  • Prioritize transparency when delivering bad news to build trust and credibility.
  • Keep messaging simple and focused to resonate with the audience.
  • Utilize repetition to reinforce important information and ensure it sticks with the audience.
  • Build efficient teams by organizing and leveraging existing content and tools.
  • Certify team members for certain tools to increase efficiency and autonomy.
  • Use project management tools like Asana to facilitate collaboration and visibility in global teams.
  • Offer growth opportunities to team members even during tough economic times.
  • Involve global teams early on in projects to ensure their perspectives are heard and incorporated.
  • Product marketing should focus on customer pain points and storytelling for impactful messaging.
  • Have an optimistic approach as a leader during challenging times.
  • Drive expansion by dedicating resources to customer-focused efforts in marketing and customer success.
  • Success in B2B marketing lies in clear goal setting, customer-centricity, effective messaging, and strong leadership.


“I think maybe the role of marketing in many cases stays the same. It’s just where you put your focus and energy changes.” – Heidi Bullock 

Highlights from the Episode 

How should marketers be adjusting to what feels like a long protracted economic downturn? What are you hearing from other CMOs and industry professionals?

Heidi recognizes that the prevailing economic downturn has significantly impacted traditional marketing strategies, necessitating a shift in approach. Emphasizing the importance of continued education and internal communication, she stresses the need for all team members to comprehend the underlying reasons for marketing initiatives and the outcomes they generate. By honing in on specific pain points and urgent needs, marketers can more effectively address the evolving landscape and provide value to their audience.

How do you see the role of marketing changing in tougher times versus boom times?

Amidst challenging times, the core role of marketing remains steady, but the focus transforms. Heidi underscores the significance of internal alignment, ensuring that marketing strategies align with the company’s overarching goals and messaging. Thriving during these periods requires discipline and the avoidance of spreading resources too thinly, instead concentrating efforts on activities that yield the most impact.

What strategies or approaches have you seen working for companies to navigate the current challenging business environment?

Based on her experience at Telium, Heidi suggests successful strategies include focusing on key verticals and customer profiles, updating messaging to address specific pain points, forming partnerships for joint initiatives, and investing in existing customer relationships to prevent churn.

How do you balance focus on key segments and pain points while still addressing the need for diversity in generating the pipeline?

While concentrating on key segments is essential, Heidi advises marketers to identify and address specific pain points that deeply resonate with the target audience. By targeting the most relevant issues, marketing campaigns become more compelling.

How do metrics change in uncertain times, and what are the key metrics you focus on during tough economic conditions?

Prioritizing transparency and accurate budget reporting, Heidi underscores the significance of measuring pipeline-to-cost ratios. This metric provides insights into the return on marketing investment and allows for more informed decision-making. Additionally, evaluating pipeline performance within the ideal customer profile and tiered accounts provides valuable data for strategic refinement. Keeping a close eye on deal velocity helps improve efficiency and accelerate the sales cycle.

How do you deliver bad news to executives when the company isn’t meeting its pipeline targets?

In times when pipeline targets are not being met, Heidi advocates for honesty and transparency when delivering updates to executives. Demonstrating a commitment to efficiency and effectiveness in marketing initiatives builds trust with the executive team. By showcasing a disciplined approach to overcoming challenges, marketers can foster confidence in their decision-making and maintain support from the leadership.

What are the common mistakes people make when it comes to end-of-quarter surprises in forecasting, and how can they avoid them?

Heidi highlighted the importance of clear communication and regular updates with teams to prevent any last-minute surprises. She mentioned using tools like Clari with AI capabilities to monitor forecasts and identify potential drop-offs. By conducting regular pipeline meetings and keeping key stakeholders informed, Heidi ensures that no surprises arise. Being transparent about challenges and the actions taken to address them is essential to maintain trust and alignment within the team.

How does the current economic downturn affect the way you think about building and scaling your team? What changes have you made in the org structure and scaling strategies?

Heidi stressed the need for efficiency and productivity. With hiring limitations, she believes in making the best use of existing resources. Heidi also emphasized the significance of offering growth opportunities to team members, even during tough times. Adapting org structures and strategies to meet the changing market demands is crucial in sustaining success.

How do you ensure effective collaboration between local and global teams? What factors do you consider for driving this collaboration?

Heidi advised early involvement of international teams in initiatives and frequent communication. She stressed the importance of using tools like Asana and Slack for better visibility and coordination. While technology is helpful, she highlighted the value of focusing on process and team engagement to foster effective collaboration across different regions.

How do you strike a balance between focusing on new business acquisitions and existing customer expansion in revenue marketing teams? Any tips to get that balance right?

Heidi recommended having clear goals for both areas. She emphasized measuring and tracking progress to ensure that expansion efforts are not neglected. Designating dedicated resources for expansion and collaborating with Customer Success teams helps strike the right balance.

What other areas do you think product marketers should prioritize to stay ahead of the competition, especially during tough economic times?

Regarding prioritizing product marketing strategies during tough economic times, Heidi urged understanding customer pains and needs through regular communication. Being simple, repetitive, and effective storytellers is key to making messaging memorable and resonating with the audience. She recommended reading “The Happiness Advantage” for insights into maintaining a positive mindset as leaders. By focusing on these areas, product marketers can stay ahead of the competition and adapt successfully to challenging circumstances.

Is there a book, blog, newsletter, website, or video that you would recommend to our listeners?





Bhaskar RoyHead of Marketing at Workato

Rashmi VittalCMO at Productiv

Chandar PattabhiramCMO at Coupa Software


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